Title: Chocolate for me, thanks
Character/s: Merlin, Gwaine, Percival, Morgana
Summary: Gwaine realizes his taste needs to change, thankfully he does like chocolate a lot.
Warnings: Summary is very bad, please excuse.
Word Count: 886
Prompt: Flavor of the Month
Author's Notes: Hope I got the posting format correct, doing this after many years. (Holy shit y'all still kept my author tag! *tears up*)
Merlin placed another bottle of beer in front of Gwaine and received an appreciative noise in return.
“That’s already your third one tonight, Gwaine,” he felt obliged to warn him. “It’s the middle of the week, I’m not letting you in again if I have to drag your ass all the way across town when you can’t walk at the end of the night.”
“Oh come on Merlin, don’t be a spoilsport,” Gwaine teased him back with his easy grin, leaning over the bar. “You know how much business you get from me, you would never stop me from coming in.”
Merlin shook his head. He left Gwaine alone for a minute and served another customer. The pub wasn’t very busy but there were still quite a few patrons apart from his regulars. By the time he turned back to Gwaine, he found that his grin had dropped and he was looking over at the entrance. Merlin turned to look too.
He saw Morgana coming in, followed by another girl. They seemed to be engrossed in each other. Merlin glanced briefly at Gwaine again, concern flashing in his eyes. Morgana got a table in a secluded corner and came over to the bar after a few minutes.
“Hey Merlin,” she greeted him. “My usual please, and a red wine for Sera over there.”
“Coming up, m’lady,” Merlin replied, using his usual nickname for her before turning to fix her old fashioned.
“So, I see the flavor of the month is strawberry eh, Morgana?” Merlin heard Gwaine say loudly, and had to wince on Gwaine’s behalf. He never did learn tact.
“Gwaine,” Morgana said, voice several shades cooler than it had been a moment ago. “One can only have so much chocolate, don’t you think?”
Merlin glanced at her, trying to guess if he needed to intervene yet. Gwaine and Morgana’s on-again-off-again relationship had almost become part of the legend of the pub. The both of them seemed to have only two stages of relationship - mortal enemies or sickening lovers. Merlin guessed they were back in the former stage right now.
“Well sure,” Gwaine replied, choosing to scrutinize his beer bottle rather than look at Morgana. “As long as one knows they would have to come back to chocolate sooner or later.”
Merlin picked up his pace, sensing a storm brewing. If it came to blows, he would not be able to pull them apart.
“No fighting at my bar,” he called out anyway, for what it was worth. He poured Morgana’s drink into a glass and turned around to hand it to her while fixing her with a stern look. Morgana was unfazed, and she raised her eyebrow back at him before picking up both her drinks and leaving.
Merlin watched her leave. When he turned back to Gwaine, he was holding his empty beer bottle out to him.
“One more please,” he called out, eyes still on Morgana. When Merlin did not take the bottle out of his hands, Gwaine turned a questioning look at him.
“How many has he had?” came a voice from behind Gwaine. Merlin heaved a sigh of relief as Percival sat down in the seat next to Gwaine. He was someone who could actually pull Morgana and Gwaine apart.
“Three, and the last one he inhaled rather than drink,” Merlin replied unashamedly, taking Gwaine's bottle before placing two more beers in front of them.
“Traitor,” Gwaine shot at Merlin, although without any bite to it. Merlin watched as Gwaine’s whole body seemed to relax bit by bit until he was almost boneless in his seat. Percival who was looking around the pub, on the other hand suddenly stiffened up, and Merlin guessed he had finally spotted Morgana in the corner, cosying up with her companion.
“Why would she come here of all places,” Percival commented, turning back to his present company, shaking his head in disgust.
“She said she was tired of chocolate and wanted strawberry now,” Gwaine replied almost involuntarily, looking more glum than his usual self.
Percival looked at him for a beat, before staring down at the bar, frowning. Merlin held his breath, sensing his mood. Percival looked at Gwaine again and finally glanced at Merlin, who beamed at him and nodded encouragingly. He only briefly caught Percival’s pleasantly surprised look before turning away, trying to give them some privacy.
“Maybe..,’ he heard Percival say softly. He seemed to falter, before clearing his throat and trying again. “Maybe you should give someone else a chance, someone who only likes his chocolate and doesn’t really care for strawberries.”
Merlin was torn between groaning at the repeated use of the terrible metaphor and whooping for joy that Percival had finally confessed his feelings. He couldn’t help grinning anyway, startling the customer he was serving. He finally finished serving the waiting customers and turned to the couple, who were in the process of digging out their wallets to pay for the drinks. Merlin grinned at them.
“Gentlemen, I guess this is goodnight then?” he asked, winking at Percival.
“Don’t look so smug, butterscotch,” Gwaine said to him. “Vanilla just texted me he’s on his way over, we thought you should spend some time alone with him, maybe finally get a taste,” he teased, and Percival and Gwaine left guffawing at Merlin’s blushing face.